As a believer of Jesus Christ for over 50 years I have found that ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Depression’ almost always go hand in hand… the very act of bouts of depressive thinking: For in those times of self doubt or even exceptional circumstances, when the believer is alone, ignored or even persecuted, the thought process of the mind often say why me Lord? What have I done to feel this way? I thought you loved me! Why are people ignoring me? Why do I always seem to be alone? Many say if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, this should not be! Where is your faith? Do you really know Jesus? Adding more pressure to the situation you find yourself already in!
I totally understand this, I have been there!
Dr. John Lockley, wrote a great little paperback, well not so little, it runs to 312 pages and is in the form of a spiritual cook book, leading the reader through examples and question in order to find peace in troubled times. The book called A Practical Workbook for the Depressed Christian is published by Word Books in Milton Keynes, England. On page 212 the writer remarks that:
God never works in a stingy way. ‘Good measure, pressed down and running over’ is what God wants to give us ( the simile is about measuring out corn in the market place by volume in a standard sized measuring container. if its pressed down, more goes in by given volume and if its piled high and running over, you get even more…) God delights in treating us like this. He does not demand things from you before He will deign to give you anything: He loves to give you good things. And most emphatically, He will not demand from you what you do not possess.: so He will not want you to give back so much time or money that it leaves you a pauper.
A Prayer Booth on the Streets of Detroit
I personally totally understand this statement. I have been there!
Pressure of commitment exerted by others within a spiritual environment or otherwise is often about abuse of the individual or believer and it happens in so many different and varied ways!
As Leaders in Christ Jesus, ‘We have a responsibility to observe what is taking place within our faith communities and understand these circumstances in order to change them for the benefit of others. As Pastors, leaders and Ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ working within our fellowships we must recognise we have a duty of care spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally to the individual believer as well as ourselves!
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:Hebrews 8:10